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That's one of the things I hope that the book can do, is to restore some dignity to Joe Cinque.
People demand a lot of the justice system and they demand things that it can't deliver.
Now, I - for several years while I was researching this book, I felt quite obsessed by thoughts about sentencing, punishment, how judges arrive at their decisions.
It's disturbing at my age to look at a young woman's destructive behaviour and hear the echoes of it, of one's own destructiveness in youth.
It's a terrific privilege to be able to see into somebody else's life.
I'm very disturbed by violence against women when it is violence.
I think writers are very anxious.
I think some people wished I'd kept myself out of the book. But I kind of insist on it because I want the reader to share my engagement with the material, if you like, not pretend that I'm doing it completely intellectually.
I like poking my nose into other people's lives.
But there are some wounds that can never be healed.
But I now think what I was doing, in a completely unconscious way, was getting off the turf where my husband and I might be rivals. We were both working in fiction... so I look back and I see that I consciously vacated the contested ground.
But I can't bear it when somebody who some man made a pass at - to call that violence seems to me absurd and insulting to women who've really met violence, who've been raped or bashed.
At the time it seemed like a natural development of my interest in what was going on around me in society.
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